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Cybersecurity Awareness Among Employees – Compare Phishing VS Vishing VS Smishing

Cybercriminals evolve with time. They keep coming up with innovative techniques to penetrate networks and execute the intended fraud. Accordingly, phishing, vishing, and smishing have evolved as three prominent cybersecurity threats.

Bad actors are continuously in pursuit of networks and users through emails (phishing), vishing (voice and phishing), and smishing (cell phone messages). A single successful attack can lead to a widespread impact. And also, on the other hand, since the use of mobile phones and computers has become integral to almost every work routine, employers must take the required steps to increase cybersecurity awareness among their employees.

What is phishing? 

This is arguably the most commonly used cyber-crime technique. Phishing involves sending fraudulent emails that direct the recipient to a fake website through a malicious link. Phishing is a well-planned cyber-crime technique. As in situations like these, the website is meticulously designed to resemble the original one.

Phishing criminals leverage fake campaigns to update user data, or ask them to sign up for a particular offer, or respond to a requirement through a malicious link. These websites ask for confidential information, including user ID, password, date of birth, mobile phone numbers, security codes, etc., convincingly, perhaps that the user might not realize.

As an employer, you must ensure your employees identify such attacks. And, considering it is better to prevent an attack rather than cure it, employees must first use common sense and refrain from providing confidential information. Emails indicating you’ve won a prize or a high-level authority unusually asking for sensitive information, etc., are a few instances of phishing. Additionally, secure links start with HTTPS. If that’s not the case, employees should not open it.

Some common types of phishing attacks include spear phishing, CEO fraud, session hijacking, malware, content injection, etc. So, it isn’t just a particular credential that the attackers might get access to through phishing, but get entry into a specific network through malicious software downloads or compel (unknowingly) the concerned employee to process a money transfer through a CEO fraud.

There’s so much more than cyber criminals can do through phishing. Creating a comprehensive employee awareness program with the help of an expert cybersecurity company can help you. Click on this link to know more about spear phishing. (internal link to How are Businesses Targeted by Spear Phishing Attacks Each Day?)

What is vishing? 

Vishing stands for voice and phishing. It involves a fraudulent phone call using information obtained earlier online. Usually, phishing is a two-step process. First, in the case of banking, for instance, the bad actor steals sensitive information by email or through a fake website. However, to execute the attack, he requires the OTP or SMS password. Accordingly, the next step is to call the person and scare him (without sounding deliberate!) to compel him to share the secret code to execute the fraud.

One of the most significant steps to avoid vishing is to train your employees to identify such attacks and refuse to divulge confidential information regarding anything. Nevertheless, employee training isn’t a one-time task. It is a process that demands regular and consistent efforts to conduct refreshing training programs and provide employees updates from time to time to help them enhance their competence concerning the prevention of cyber-attacks. Partnering with an experienced cybersecurity company helps in this regard.

What is smishing? 

Lastly, what is smishing? The evolution of smishing doesn’t come as a surprise, especially amidst techniques such as phishing and vishing. Also, when attackers can target emails and phone calls (voice), it is quite possible that they would use SMSs, or chat messages to channel their attacks? Of course, they can, and they already have. Smishing, alongside phishing and vishing, has evolved significantly to become a popular cyber-crime technique.

These threats involve messaging an individual about a fraud (a fake one) that happened with him, about which he is unaware, or informing him that his account or his confidential information might be at risk, or perhaps, his account will freeze if he doesn’t verify his details, etc. The sources of these messages appears trustworthy, and the messages are very well-articulated to seem authentic. Often, the target, out of fear, happens to follow the instructions, or calls back, or clicks on malicious links to stay out of the fabricated risk; however, only to compel himself into a real one!

Again, a simple technique to create awareness among employees is to help them stay aware about the various ways smishing attacks can take place, train them to be able to identify a smishing attack, the action to take after identifying a potential smishing attempt, and of course, ask them never to respond to such messages.

Of course, all these factors apply to phishing as well as vishing. Cybersecurity companies cover these and a lot of other employee awareness facets through their comprehensive cyber-crime awareness programs.

Need a Cybersecurity Company to Enhance Cyber-Crime Awareness Among Employees? 

As one of the top cybersecurity companies in the US, Alliant Cybersecurity runs employee cybersecurity awareness programs across various levels of the organizational hierarchy. The company’s experts stay abreast of the latest cybersecurity attacks and tactics and acquaint employees with each one of them, along with the respective identification techniques to help prevent their instances. Additionally, Alliant helps companies set cybersecurity protocols to prevent attacks and mitigate their impact if they strike. To know more, write to [email protected].